The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Aussies rest McGrath, Clark set for debut
- Gayle replaces Afridi in World XI for second ODI

Melbourne: Australia pacer Glenn McGrath has been rested for the second one-day International against the World XI and replaced by Stuart Clark, Cricket Australia said on Thursday.

The 35-year-old McGrath spearheaded a four-pronged Australian seam attack that strangled the World XI and bowled them out for 162 when chasing 256 for victory in the first match at Melbourneís Docklands Stadium on Wednesday.

McGrath, who complained of tightness in his legs after the match, bowled a miserly opening seven-over spell for only 13 runs and took the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Jacques Kallis to set up Australiaís crushing win.

Clark, who was called into the Ashes squad in England as cover for the injured McGrath, is set to make his international debut.

Leg-spinner Cameron White, who was the super sub for the first match and made his debut when he replaced Damien Martyn during the World XIís innings, was also named in the side. The world team also made one change with West Indies left-hander Chris Gayle coming in for Pakistanís Shahid Afridi, who was the super-sub in the first match.

Indiaís Rahul Dravid and Sehwag would be desperate to make amends for their failure as the star-studded World XI seek to restore their reputation, going into the must-win match.

Both Dravid and Sehwag failed to reach double figures as the cream of world cricket was crushed ruthlessly by the Australians, who also have a big point to prove in the wake of their Ashes debacle.

Clearly, the pressure will be on Shaun Pollock and his band of celebrated cricketers.

Sehwag, for whom consistency has always been the bane, was given his preferred openerís slot but he could barely manage six runs and looked out of sorts during his brief stay at the crease.

With the World XI losing their openers in quick time, it was left to the dependable Dravid to do the damage-control but he also failed to do justice to his potential.

Considering that the target was very much gettable, as Pollock admitted later, the manner in which the stars gave up without much of a fight would be bothering coach John Wright.

For a side boasting of such batting stars, it was really pathetic to see them being dismissed for 162 in 41.3 overs.

Australia, in contrast, could not have asked for a more positive start as they seek to bury the ghosts of the Ashes defeat and reassert their supremacy.

However, it may not be all that tough for the World XI to turn the corner given the sheer quality of the players in the side.

Players of the calibre of Brian Lara and Andrew Flintoff have it in them to dictate the destiny of a match singlehandedly, and not to forget their bowling line-up.

Somehow, these players lost the script as even a Shoaib Akhtar toiled without any gains, leaving it to the unassuming Daniel Vettori and Muttiah Muralidharan to ensure the Aussies did not wreak havoc with the bat.

The Aussies were not without their faults either. Tentative and vulnerable, they gave a lot of room to the opposition to make headways.

After a flier of an opening, courtesy a back-to-form Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich, they lost wickets at crucial times to be in trouble in the middle-overs. But some intelligent batting down the order, including a lively cameo by their fast improving tailender Brett Lee, ensured them a competitive target.

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